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Phono cartridge upgrade for Stanton Str8-20 (cheap turntable)?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 24th 04, 09:03 PM
Bruce J. Richman
external usenet poster
 
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Default Phono cartridge upgrade for Stanton Str8-20 (cheap turntable)?

johannzimbal wrote:


>Hi,
>
>I have a Stanton Str8-20 turntable. It's a belt driven, straight tone
>arm, plastic body, pretty light, inexpensive turntable. It's going
>through a realistic receiver. I use it to mostly play old records
>that I get for $1 to $10 so that I can explore some great older music
>without breaking the bank.
>
>As you can see, my stereo is not high-end, but nonetheless, it sounds
>pretty decent. The only problem is that the turntable came with a
>relatively low quality Stanton 500B cartridge (20 to 14 kHz, sperical
>stylus). Because of this cartridge, very high frequency music,
>especially "Ssssss" sounds in vocals, is distorted.
>
>Could someone please recommend a cartridge for $75 or less that would
>make this setup sound better. I'm not looking for the best of the
>best, just something that will be able to play any music without
>distortion.
>
>I tried a Grado prestige black cartridge, but it didn't sound as
>vibrant and full-bodied as the Stanton cartridge, especially in the
>mids. Plus, apparently, it isn't made to be used with a stright tone
>arm.
>
>Thanks very much,
>
>Johann
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


That's a surprising finding IME. Grado cartridges generally are perceived by
most listeners as being relatively full-bodied and "warm" relative to some
other cartridges. Indeed, that is one of the factors that may explain their
popularity amongst users of lower-priced cartridges. AFAIK, there is no
restriction on their use with straight tone arms, and many of their models, if
not all of them, are frequently used with straight tone arms - type of tone arm
found in most modern record players.

I would suggest that you reconsider buying the best Grado you can afford, and
then perhaps, unless you are comfortable with the task, consider getting a
dealer to install the cartridge for you. Such variables as tracking force,
vertical tracking angle and azimuth adjustment can often affect the sound of a
cartridge in negative ways, if not optimized for your particular tone
arm/turntable setup. Also, if your table has antiskating adjustment, that too
should be factored in to the setup equation.



Bruce J. Richman



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  #2  
Old March 26th 04, 06:34 AM
Bruce J. Richman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Phono cartridge upgrade for Stanton Str8-20 (cheap turntable)?

Johann Zimbal wrote:


(Bruce J. Richman) wrote in message
>...
>> johannzimbal wrote:
>>
>>
>> >Hi,
>> >
>> >I have a Stanton Str8-20 turntable. It's a belt driven, straight tone
>> >arm, plastic body, pretty light, inexpensive turntable. It's going
>> >through a realistic receiver. I use it to mostly play old records
>> >that I get for $1 to $10 so that I can explore some great older music
>> >without breaking the bank.
>> >
>> >As you can see, my stereo is not high-end, but nonetheless, it sounds
>> >pretty decent. The only problem is that the turntable came with a
>> >relatively low quality Stanton 500B cartridge (20 to 14 kHz, sperical
>> >stylus). Because of this cartridge, very high frequency music,
>> >especially "Ssssss" sounds in vocals, is distorted.
>> >
>> >Could someone please recommend a cartridge for $75 or less that would
>> >make this setup sound better. I'm not looking for the best of the
>> >best, just something that will be able to play any music without
>> >distortion.
>> >
>> >I tried a Grado prestige black cartridge, but it didn't sound as
>> >vibrant and full-bodied as the Stanton cartridge, especially in the
>> >mids. Plus, apparently, it isn't made to be used with a stright tone
>> >arm.
>> >
>> >Thanks very much,
>> >
>> >Johann
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >

>>
>> That's a surprising finding IME. Grado cartridges generally are perceived

>by
>> most listeners as being relatively full-bodied and "warm" relative to some
>> other cartridges. Indeed, that is one of the factors that may explain

>their
>> popularity amongst users of lower-priced cartridges. AFAIK, there is no
>> restriction on their use with straight tone arms, and many of their models,

>if
>> not all of them, are frequently used with straight tone arms - type of tone

>arm
>> found in most modern record players.
>>
>> I would suggest that you reconsider buying the best Grado you can afford,

>and
>> then perhaps, unless you are comfortable with the task, consider getting a
>> dealer to install the cartridge for you. Such variables as tracking force,
>> vertical tracking angle and azimuth adjustment can often affect the sound

>of a
>> cartridge in negative ways, if not optimized for your particular tone
>> arm/turntable setup. Also, if your table has antiskating adjustment, that

>too
>> should be factored in to the setup equation.
>>
>>
>>
>> Bruce J. Richman

>
>Thanks Bruce. Maybe the angle at which I installed the Grado was
>wrong. My turntable only has a counterbalance, but no anti-skate
>setting or anything like that.
>
>Could anyone here please recommend a dealer in New York City that can
>install a cartridge correctly for me? I know of one DJ shop that
>sells turntables. Would that suffice?
>
>Johann
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


Unfortunately, I'm in South Florida and personally knowledgable about dealers
in NYC. However, VPI turntables - my favorite brand (and personal choice) are
manufactured in New Jersey (www.VPIIndustries.com) and their tonearms
(straight) are frequently used with Grado cartridges (made in Brooklyn).
I would suggest getting in touch with VPI for a recommendation of a
turntable-friendly dealer in NYC. Alternatively, you might want to consider
joining the Phonogram mailing list - a free, subscriber-based mailing list
which has many vinyl enthusiasts, including writers and manufacturers,
available with a vast fund of knowledge re. turntable & tone arm setup.
Finally, another possible source of information would be the "Vinyl Asylum"
portion of the Audio Asylum website - www.audioasylum.com.

Good luck.



Bruce J. Richman



 




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